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  April 2007
volume 5 number 1
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  featured poets
  Lea Deschenes
  Jamie Asae FitzGerald
  Thomas KrÀmer
  Kirsten Ogden
  Traian Pop Traian
  Elisha Porot
  Ryan Tranquilla
  mailing list
Kirsten Ogden April 2007



art by jared barbick

    Kirsten Ogden writes, teaches and performs in the Los Angeles area. She grew up in Honolulu, Baton Rouge, San Francisco, and has spent time in Fairbanks, Alaska, San Diego, Texas, Arizona and Chicago. Her work has appeared in Phoebe, AIM, Poetry Motel, Arsenic Lobster, Visions International, Radical Teacher and Teaching Tolerance Magazine. She organizes the Voice in Action visiting writers series at the University of La Verne and oversees the editorial staff of Prism Review.
Eat the Paper



Basically Two Good Boys

She must have been too beautiful to bear
blue eyed & brown hair to nape of neck

If they ran their fingers through the clutch
of hair there they may have felt moist wet

wonder & how childlike this girl was
at 16 lips parted for breath eyes glassy

from Chi-Chis and Fuzzy Navels eyes
shiny & shallow & sure to have that come

hither stare. Once my mom read a poem
Id written about date rape. Weeks

after her visit I looked through
my journal, saw her pencilled remarks

It was just like this. He was a marine.
He gave me a rose afterwards. Yes,

and these two boys, their young legs
wiggling like greyhounds, I imagine

them watching her, their tongues wagging,
the gleam from their wallet chains giving

her eyes too much of a twinkle.
On NPR this morning, the father of

one boy said, These are basically
two good boys who got themselves

into a terrible stupid situation.
And the girl, the girl.

copyright 2005 Kirsten Ogden



Dear Mom

I used to smoke. I know I brought home
skeleton Cajun lungs to tape to your
satin sheets. I realize you hid
your pursed lips because Id break
them in half or drop them into dishwater
for a good soak. But I used to water fountain
myself. Water fountain is a terrible habit.
And yet, Id crack the McDonalds parking
lot in my day bed and fire crackling cloves.
My too cool would stink, but you never
noticed or asked. Why didnt you ever notice
or ask? You had other carjackings,
I know. I may have licked it though.
No more ocean salt kicked in my face.
No more moonlighting. No more one armed
men shot by their wives. Closed mouth
humming with steam. Theres
something to never talk about.

copyright 2005 Kirsten Ogden



Living Out Loud

Im thinking about writing a note to the chick
downstairs, you hear me? Cause
she dumps her
cat food cans on the grass
and they sit there
stinking up the place, you know?
And theres flies that convene
their borrowed lives onto each small
morsel of dry meow mix bright orange
and full of moist, blooming possibility,
a cornucopia of malignant deep flesh,
and every day I walk by it and its gross.
Once I took a bag down and picked up
the cans myself, and there were
maggots in one can, I swear,
but Im lyin when I say that, you know,
cause Im thinkin hey, the more disgusting
my story is, the more focused youll be
I mean, when you hear opened trash bags
and fishing poles stretchin back
and droppin into drowning with a plop
my favorite word emerges

I took so many things as a child,
I took so many things with me
and carried them in my head and heart,
like a duffel bag full of snow and lost voices
singing through stars, the silent melody sprawling
across the night like wisps of billowy smoke
running from a sparked fire, the fire of mind
that drives us, pushes us, carries us heavy in its warm
and comfortable hands.

What do we know of this world, see, without
a little help from our friends, you hear
what Im saying? I mean to tell you,
its a miracle I even wipe my ass
without help. I even wipe away
the days Id like to forgetall those times
I sat on the roof of that apartment
on 16th avenue begging God
or whoever for a way to make the world
understand, we cannot all of us be the hero
in our own stories, we cannot all of us
be the matrix world of plugging in to slippery
tubes of android guts and wait for the white
light to visit us in our darkest
flowers on the table for the dinner
party. I want to be the one who throws
the dinner party. I want to be the one
who is well loved, I want to no longer
feel the need to hide behind the mask

copyright 2005 Kirsten Ogden